Harman on the budget

Richard Harman is one of the best political pundits out there. His Politik website is a must read.

He analyses the budget in a much more comprehensive manner than every other commentator.

Three things stand out from yesterday’s Budget:

  • Next year’s Budget will be very different
  • English is serious when he says smaller government is better government.
  • We are now getting the bill for the record immigration.

The big surpluses coming down the track, as Bill English says, means the Government has choices in how it can spend money in the years ahead.

And that means it can back Labour into a political corner during election year.

And they are already backing Labour into that corner, with tax cuts, while Labour is promising increases.

Given that the Prime Minister has already suggested that there could be a $3 billion tax cut in the future and that Mr English has confirmed the 2019 $6.7 billion surplus, the odds are that National can go into the next election promising tax cuts in the 2019 year. (Or maybe even earlier).

The effect of that could be to force Labour to either propose raising taxes or to cut its spending proposals. For a party struggling to gain traction with the electorate, neither is an attractive proposition.

I don’t think Labour have any idea, about anything. They certainly don’t know how to talk to Middle NZ.

[I]t is a complex budget; one that nips and tucks and scratches away at political itches while at the same time playing to some strategic political goals.

It’s a backroom budget, not one designed for the hustings but putting down the planks for what presumably next year will be a tub-thumper aimed at winning the election.

There is much more to the article, it is well worth while subscribing to Politik.


– Politik


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  • Jimmie

    Next year’s budget is what Key and English have dreamed of since 2008.

    After wading their way through a Financial Crisis and the Christchurch Earthquake, at last they will have the opportunity to do what they have wanted to do since coming to power – throw decent tax cuts to the electorate.

    I would like to see Key win next year simply to allow them to enjoy (hopefully) 3 years of relative prosperity and to see Tax cuts and debt repayment come through.

    I think that would be a lasting legacy for both of them to be proud of.

    • Missy_Mink

      Couldn’t agree more!